Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. – Dwight D. Eisenhower
Paratroopers from the 101st Airborne take a break for a photo.
Sainte Marie Du Mont was one of the first villages to be liberated during Operation Overlord. Elements on the 501st and 506th Parachute Infantry Regiments Liberated the town from the German occupiers.
To celebrate the WWPD Overlord Campaign my son and I had ran our first campaign battle at this location.
Google Image of present day Saint Marie Du Mont
Flames of War battlefield (inverted). I tried to represent the battlefield as best as possible and think the map does a pretty good job. I do need more bocage though!
Allied forces included elements of the 506th PIR and 327th Glider Infantry:
German forces included a blocking force from the 919th Regiment of the 709th Grenadier Division.
Mission played: No Retreat
Table size is approximately: 9ft x 6ft, so the 6 turn limit is not really enforced
- Turn 1 0700-0730
- Turn 2 0730-0800
- Turn 3 0800-0830
- Turn 4 0830-0900
- Turn 5 0900-0930
- Turn 6 0930-1000
- Turn 7 1000-1030
- Turn 8 1030-1100
- Turn 9 1100-1130
I used an IPOD touch this time and the photos didnt come out as well as I thought they would. I apologize for the poor quality. I plan on reverting to my wife’s cannon on the next BATREP.
My son has graciously decided to play the Germans during this campaign. His initial set up included 2 grenadier platoons to hold the objectives at the road intersection leading west out of town and the church. This would be supported by 10.5mm French guns, a platoon of mortars, 2 HMG nests, and 1 AT bunker. All other units were held in reserve.
0700 (Turn 1) – US forces (below) used the bocage to hide the first turn movements. Although the recon platoon was able to get into the village outskirts.
0710 (Turn 1) – First blood was drawn by the P47s. They were able to kill one mortar and pin the unit. Bombs are really nasty!
German activity between 0700-0730 was minimal.
Around 0740 the P47s arrived again to hit the German artillery battery. During this period US ground forces continued the advance through bocage territory.
At 0750 the Germans responded by dropping some artillery on one of the para platoons (below) followed by pinning the AT gun platoon with mortar fire (2nd below).
Tactical Discussion: The US intention was to move the AT gun platoon swiftly to the front to keep pace with the infantry. The 2nd LT moved the platoon down a main road which unknowingly left the platoon visible to German observers.
The fighter bombers arrived again around 0800 to neutralize one German 10.5 cm gun and the battery staff. The US ground commander was getting tired of the harassing fire!
Also during this period the US concentrated its artillery and mortars on smoking the German defenders along the axis of advance as the para and infantry climbed over the bocage and made its way into Sainte Marie DuMont.
The smoke helped tremendously with the advance and assaults. Below US Paras are linking up with the scout platoon on the outskirts of Sainte Marie DuMont.
At some period after 0800 (Turn 3) US scouts reported hearing panzers. The German Regimental commander had released 3 StuG IIIs to support the holding operation at Sainte Marie DuMont.
At 0835 (Turn 4) US commanders called in air support to counter the German panzers. These veteran panzers were able to avoid destruction from the P47s.
The German commander continued harassing fire between 0830 and 0900.
At 0900 (Turn 5) the US right flank pushed into the outskirts of the Sainte Marie Dupont. On seeing the incoming Panzers, the Glider Infantry commander ordered his forces to dig in. The 1st LT from the para platoon moved his unit into the nearby houses.
The lone paratrooper platoon on the american left flank was pinned down by mortar fire (below).
Sometime after 0900 the AT gun platoon 2nd LT radioed back that the unit was taking heavy fire from German artillery and a previously unknown HMG gun pit. The 2nd LT and half the members of his platoon was later found dead along the road. The rest of the platoon had ran off leaving the guns.
Battalion S2 (intelligence) reported that the Germans were bringing online a heavy artillery battery around 0930. The unit had arrived around 0915.
The fighter bombers made a second pass over the mortar platoon annihilating the platoon.
However, at 0930 radio communication with the P47 squadron went dark. Neither the company or battalion were able to call in air support for the remainder of the battle.
Below is a photo of US Glider Infantry dug in. The unit took a full volley of MG fire from the three StuG IIIs roaming the battlefield without any casualties. The timid infantry platoon commander would attribute his caution to the fact that the platoon had only one casualty during this battle. A Private Miller had a caused a few blisters to form while the platoon was digging in.
The German commander focused his assets on the mobile para rifle platoon that had successfully assaulted and destroyed both a mortar and artillery observer team. Artillery was systematically destroying each house the para were in and the StuGs poured main gun and MG fire into the buildings. The para platoon was bleeding out. Several bazooka teams had vanished as the platoon inched forward toward the church objective. By all accounts the platoon had taken 50% casualties at this point, but soldiered on!
The Germans were able to call in additional reinforcements between 0930 and 1030 in the form of an additional grenadier platoon held in reserve and a nearby working party of OST grenadiers. The German commander put them in line in an attempt to shore up the church objective.
At 1030 the lone para platoon on US left flank pushed into assault range of a grenadier platoon holding out in a local manor. The German troops inflicted a number of casualties with defensive fire and a counter assault. However, the US platoon prevailed although the unit was now under half strength. The unit consolidated in the manor as they watched the OST platoon slowly make its way in their direction.
At 1100 (Turn 9) the para commander made the decision to storm the church. Both artillery and mortar fire were able to pin the German defenders down. The Grenadiers had no fight in them and were quickly overrun.
The German Hauptman ran scurrying out the door (below) to concede victory over Sainte Maria Du Mont to the Americans.
Final score for this game was 5-2 with the US Airborne taking the victory.
US losses were: Glider AT platoon
German losses were: 1st Grenadier Platoon, 2nd Grenadier Platoon, and the mortar platoon.
Overall good game! The score doesn’t reflect the amount of casualties the US para platoons took.
Sorry for the crappy photos 😦
I was confused on the use of no HE against MG nests (bunkers). It really isn’t clear in the rule book. I lined them up to knock out the HMG bunker, but could not find anywhere in the book that mentioned that they were allowed to using the No HE rule.
One important note is that the German reinforcements were very scattered this game: StuG IIIs on turn 3, 15.5 cm guns on turn 5, grenadier platoon on turn 6, and the Ost platoon on turn 7. We didn’t use the At Least One Platoon rule mainly because I forgot about it. Live and learn.